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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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lil'chefy

Picky 4 Year Old, Transitioning To Gluten-Free

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I am getting ready to put my lil girl on Gluten-Free diet. She is already sooooo picky. I am worried. What will she do @ preschool @ snack time? When she goes to kindergarden, how will her school handle the lunchroom? Any suggestions?

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There are a TON of options if gluten is all you are avoiding.

-rice crackers

-rice cakes

top those with peanut butter/sunbutter/hummus

-string cheese

-yogurt

-fruit

-veggies

Just to name a few.

Schools differ from one to another. Some are better than others! Is your DD diagnosed with Celiac? If you need, Celiac is covered under the ADA and you are entitled to a 504 plan to legally make they comply to make your child safe.

Be sure to watch for craft projects! Play-doh is made from wheat. Watch for pasta art too.

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I do think it would be a good idea to have the celiac blood panel drawn before she take her gluten free. It may be negative, but I feel you should at least try for a diagnosis first because the school's are much more respectful of your needs if there is a diagnosis. You need to work out with the school/preschool how food issues will be handled in the classroom.

Is it possible that her pickiness about food is because gluten causes her discomfort?

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since she is so picky I suggest t he 1st thing you do is make of list of what she does eat. Then search the threads here for a similar gluten-free substitute. If you can't find what you are looking for just ask & I'm sure you will pointed to some choices. Then slowly introduce her to new foods. I had (still have) 2 picky eaters age 13/17 but it has gotten easier as they got older. Oftentimes many of the things that kids eat are already gluten-free. Lays potato chips. snyders has gluten-free pretzels, many candies are gluten-free, fruit cups, yogurt, fruit roll ups, popcorn , you can buy gluten-free chkn nuggets like Ian's or applegate's or make them yourself, Chex, rice krispies & pebbles cereal, all fruits/ vegetable dairy are gluten-free, If she likes noodles, go to your nearest oriental store & buy rice noodles & you can make chkn noodle soup. And Ore Ida frozen french fries & hash browns are gluten-free. For parties she can bring her own gluten-free cupcake that you make so when the others are eating cake she'll have her own special cupcake that she can help decorate. In preschool she will need her own playdough if they use it there, and hands thoroughly washed b4 & after. just take it one day at a time . Its a learning process some mistakes will be made, just learn from them & move on. And make sure if she is taking any vitamins that they are gluten-free. Flinstones is not but Lil Critters and Disney are, as are other brands. Good Luck!

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Even though the blood testing has more of a chance of false negatives, I would get her blood tested first before going gluten free. If it is positive then you will have a better leg to stand on when she is in school.

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Most 4 year olds are picky. If I were you, I would send in her snacks and when needed her lunch. I don't know how the school would handle this in the lunch room. My daughter didn't have a lunch room when in elementary school. She ate at her desk and food that I packed.

Take her shopping with you. Have her pick out new foods to try. Have her help you make the meals. That can help.

My daughter is picky too but she is willing to try new things. She loves hummus with gluten-free pretzels, carrots or even apple slices.

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Maybe it will help to make her more involved in choosing and preparing food? I have fond memories of my childhood when we had our own vegetable garden. We could take fresh and tasty snacks right out of the ground. Not everyone has that luxury, but it may help little children to know where their food comes from and what it takes to prepare it. If you've grown or cooked it by yourself it's often a lot more interesting.

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Thank you for all of your suggestions I don't think I will suggest the celiac blood panel b/c mine is negative, my Mom's is negative. I think it will just be a big waste of money. I will just tell a white lie at Elle's school and tell then that she has tested positive. I know it sounds sneaky, but I realize now how prevalent this gene runs in our family and I don't get why it doesn't show up on blood tests, but it doesn't.

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My kids were also very picky. Now they are teenagers. What worked for us was to give them choices. I'd give them choices in different food categories. For instance they needed to have a veggie and a fruit and then they could have a cookie. It helps for them to feel in charge of what they eat.

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My son will be 4 in March and is super picky too, so I feel your pain! Here are some things that work for him ... Van's waffles, Applegate Farms hotdogs, muffins (I can sneak veggies in there), sweet potato fries, scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, bean dip (there's a great bean dip recipe by the Spunky Coconut that uses cashews instead of cream cheese), PB&J on Udi's bread, and we keep Amy's gluten-free mac and cheese in the freezer.

My son's school provides breakfast. I send him with his own and that has never been a problem for them. We actually did a gluten test one weekend and he was such a mess for school Monday I think they are going to be extra vigilant.

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My son will be 4 in March and is super picky too, so I feel your pain! Here are some things that work for him ... Van's waffles, Applegate Farms hotdogs, muffins (I can sneak veggies in there), sweet potato fries, scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, bean dip (there's a great bean dip recipe by the Spunky Coconut that uses cashews instead of cream cheese), PB&J on Udi's bread, and we keep Amy's gluten-free mac and cheese in the freezer.

My son's school provides breakfast. I send him with his own and that has never been a problem for them. We actually did a gluten test one weekend and he was such a mess for school Monday I think they are going to be extra vigilant.

Thanks, that was some useful info. My little girl doesnt like cheese or potatoes already! I am hoping the cheese disloke goes away, as I think maybe it hurts her stomach.

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I just wrote a post on the blog linked from my profile about how my daughter was cured of picky eating. Things are a bit different at 4 than 12 but you might enjoy it!

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As for school, you will be much more likely to get good accommodations if you have an official diagnosis. As others suggested, please get testing done before trying the diet!

There are lots of posts on here about dealing with gluten in the classroom. Happy reading!

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My 17 month old is also very picky. She does like yogurt, gluten free mac and cheese, french fries, hot dogs, fruity pebbles and cocoa pebbles cereal and bars, fruit (all kinds), gluten-free pancakes (I use the Gluten Free Dreams mix), gluten-free chicken nuggets (Wegman's grocery store has their own brand) and lunch meat. I am hoping that her pickiness gets better soon. She used to love cheese, but won't eat it anymore, either. So, mealtimes are a fun guessing game. She was failure to thrive from her gluten intolerance, so I am still working at increasing her weight, also. It has been challenging.

I would strongly encourage you to try for an official diagnosis first. Schools do not (and will not, usually) make accomodations without a letter from the dr stating specific dietary needs. My daughter's bloodwork was negative and I know that we will have to revisit this issue later. But, I took her off gluten and then unsuccessfully attempted to do a 2 month gluten challenge. It was so hard to watch her suffering that I don't think I gave her enough gluten.

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Just a note on cheese - a lot of people, especially celiacs, have a problem with milk products. Part of a child's "pickiness" is sometimes a physical problem.

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My girls were both picky eaters before gluten free, they were also cured of their picky eating by the gluten free diet! I think once their little tummy's aren't hurting anymore they're much more open to food. My girls are 2 and 3 1/2 and they have AMAZING appetites and are pretty open to trying new things. They're new favorite thing to eat for lunch is salmon salad or egg salad wrapped up in a cabbage leave as a "wrap". They pretty much clear their plates most of the time now. I think a big thing is getting them involved in the process of picking and cooking foods.

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I decided I didn't want to make 2 dinners. I have the family eat gluten free dinner. When we all do it, it is easy. Perhaps have the whole family eat a certain way for a time. That will help.

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    • Hey!  I also recently started a gluten free diet because of non Celiac's gluten sensitivity, and as a college student who can't really eat in the dining hall or participate in late night pizza runs, I totally understand where you're coming from. First things first: you probably aren't as much of a burden on people as you think you are. They most likely understand that this is a big transition period for you and will take time. If you are really worried about it,  just talk to them, explain your concern and try to come up with a plan. I have found that if I don't make a big deal about being gluten free, neither will anyone else. The first time or two matter of factly explain that you cannot eat gluten for medical reasons, after that, if someone offers you something you can't eat, I have found it to be best to just respond with a simple "no thanks!" As far as making sure you don't starve, nut based granola bars (such as kind bars) are your best friend. I always try to have one or two handy, especially on trips! ( I like to have savory ones, like Thai chili flavored, that way it feel more like eating real food than sweet flavored ones!) That way, if there is really nothing you can eat, you always have something. I also scoured celiac and gluten free blogs my first few weeks and figured out what fast food places have Celiac's and NCGS friendly options (Chick-fil-A is a good one, I usually get their fries and request that they fry them in their designated gluten free frier, and a side salad, Wendy's is also good, you can get any of their baked potatoes, chili, or side salad with no croutons, there are a lot of other places too, but there are my favorites) I have found that a lot of times there are things that we can eat places, but because Celiac's and especially NCGS is something that has just started to get more attention, most people, even those working at restaurants just aren't familiar with it, and most restaurants do not have a designated gluten free menu. Your smart phone and Google are also great, I am all the time in a  restaurant googling "does (restaurant's dish) have  gluten?" Usually we can eat salads, and burgers and such without buns, but it is always a good idea to just tell your waiter or the person taking your order something to the effect of " hey! I am unable to eat gluten for medical reasons, which means I can't have things made with wheat, rye , or barley, or anything that touches things made with it, I was hoping to have (dish), Which isn't made with any of these things, but was wondering if you could use clean utensils and preparing area, that way I don't get sick! Thank you!" Usually people are more than happy to help, they just don't understand your situation. As far as you feeling like less of an outcast, this transition period has been a great time for me to realize the importance of hanging out with people and enjoying their company, even if you can't fully participate. No one really cares if they are all eating pizza and you are eating a sandwich you brought on gluten free bread. People are going to express concern because they care about you and don't want you to be hungry or feel left out. Whenever someone says something like " oh will you be able to eat anything here?" Or "oh I'm sorry I'm eating (delicious gluten thing)" just not making a big deal out of it and saying something like "oh I'm good anywhere!" (Because you are with your granola bar! Also you can almost always eat salad) Or "no, you enjoy what you like!" Will make you and them feel better. For a while you will feel a little left out, and that is okay, but I have found that I am so much happier when I go on that pizza run with my friends and a granola bar, even if at first you have to fake it till you make it! Good luck! I know it isn't easy, but it does get better!💙💙
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